M3 MEDIUM TANK (General Lee)

M3 MEDIUM TANK (General Lee)
Image: M3 Medium Tank (U.S. Signal Corps)
YearJune 1941
Vehicle Type[@type]
Origin & Designer[@designer]
Numbers Produced4.724
Crew7 (Commander, Two Gunners, Two Loaders, Driver & Assistant D
Main Armament1 x 75mm L/31 M2 or M3 Gun & 1 x 37mm L/53 M5 or M6 Gun
Main Armament[@sponson_traverse]
Elevation37mm: -7° to +60°.
75mm: -9° to +20°.
Turret Traverse360° (Powered 18/Sec)
Gun Traverse[@gun_traverse]
Gun Mount[@gun_mounts]
Maximum Range[@maximum_range]
Armour Penetration[@armour_penetration]
Gun Sight[@gun_sight]
Secondary Armament1 x .30 cal M1919A4 Machine Gun (Commanders Cupola).
1 x .30 cal M1919A4 Machine Gun (Coaxial).
2 x .30 cal M1919A4 Machine Guns (Bow).
Smoke Discharger[@smoke_discharger]
Ammunition Carried50 x 75mm & 178 x 37mm + 9.200 x .30 cal
Combat Weight27.900 kg
Ground Clearance0.43m
Fording Depth1.0m
Trench Crossing2.30m
Obstacle Clearance0.61m
Climbing Ability31°
RadioSCR 508
ArmourHull Gun Mantlet: 89mm.
Upper Hull Front: 51mm.
Lower Hull Front: 51mm.
Upper Hull Sides: 38mm.
Lower Hull Sides: 38mm.
Hull Rear: 38mm.
Hull Top: 25mm.
Hull Bottom: 13mm.
Turret Gun Mantlet: 51mm.
Turret Front: 51mm.
Turret Sides: 51mm.
Turret Rear: 51mm.
Turret Top: 22mm.
EngineContinental R975 C1 (Petrol)
Transmission5 Forward & 1 Reverse
Maximum Road Range119 miles (193 km)
Maximum Cross Country Range87 miles (140 km)
Maximum Water Range[@maximum_water_range]
Maximum Road Speed21 mph (34 kph).
Maximum Cross Country Speed16 mph (25 kph)
Maximum Water Speed[@maximum_water_speed]
Quantity: 300
Year: January 1942
. Cast Hull
Quantity: 12
Year: January 1942
Welded Hull
Quantity: 322
Year: March 1942
New Diesel Engine
Quantity: 109
Year: June 1942
With Larger Engine.
NotesEvents in Europe had shown the need for a medium tank mounting a gun of at least 75mm. The M2 was by now obsolete by European standards so work began in finding a new medium. The idea was for a tank mounting a 75mm gun in a fully revolving turret but this was not yet feasible so an interim vehicle was called for. The M3 was designed with two weapons, this was along similar lines to the French Char B and British Churchill. The 75mm was mounted in a side sponson located in the hull, this was fitted with, the 37mm was housed in a fully revolving turret. The chassis of the M2 was designed to carry the new vehicle it also became the first tank to mount a gyro-stabilised main gun. This also met the demands of the British who needed a battle tank carrying a 75mm gun. They got their wishes and a number of M3s were built to British stands and saw action in the western desert during 1942. The US 1st Armoured Division had a Regiment of M3s when it landed in North Africa during the Torch landings. But by April 1943 the M3 was deemed “Limited Standard” and finally declared obsolete in April 1944, but many went on to serve in other roles such as tank recovery vehicles. Many went on to serve in the Far East with the British 14th army and sent as lend lease to Russia.